Latest news on the Archipelago biosphere Reserve by Katja Bonnevier.

Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve - a balance between man and nature

What is the biosphere Reserve ?

 Photo Destination Finland Seaside Kb - © All rights reserved

The Biosphere Reserve can be seen as both a geographical area and a program of activities. The area of the Archipelago Sea includes thousands of islands in the archipelago of Åboland (Turunmaa). The Biosphere Reserve has been designated by UNESCO, the UN organization for education, science and culture, because of the highly valued nature and the specific culture in the archipelago, where human life has always been in a close relation to the sea. You can as well see the designation as a way to encourage the stakeholders to take into account the very valuable nature and culture, in the development of the area. For the concept of the Biosphere Reserve it is very important that the area is inhabited, therefore the program does by all means support a sustainable development of a vital society, with a sustainable livelihood. The Biosphere Reserve should serve as a model for other coastal areas or archipelagos.

So the Biosphere Reserve is not just a question of status, but it is also a program for promoting sustainable development, that preserves the unique nature and the island community, while also strengthening a development that is adapted to the future needs of the society. Everyone can be a part of the activities of the Biosphere Reserve and it brings together all the interests and needs under an umbrella to find balanced solutions to the development.

Photo Destination Finland Seaside Kb - © All rights reserved


What is being done in the Archipelago biosphere Reserve?

Within the Biosphere Reserve there are many organizations that with their daily activities promote a sustainable development of the area. The Biosphere Reserve may serve as a network for them and create common guidelines for the area. The Town of Väståboland, the Municipality of Kimitoön, the Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre (environmental authority), Metsähallitus (state-owned enterprise that manage the National Park), Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland and the Employment and Economical Development Centre of Southwest Finland are all key organizations behind the activities of the Biosphere Reserve. In the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve there are certain priority areas taken into account in the activities of the program. The priority areas are concerning the management of valuable habitats such as the beautiful natural meadows that formerly has been kept open by grazing animals and hay cut, the management of the marine areas, natural and cultural tourism and the adaptation to changes by the archipelago society.

 

Pic from Berghamn - Houtskär. Several private land-owners have made management plans for their land areas and agreements have been made with farmers to get animals out to the islands.

The program of the Biosphere Reserve gives a framework for raising environmental awareness, and for activities that promote ecologically and economically sustainable development in the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve.


Archipelago transitional meadows and grazing

The beautiful landscape of the Archipelago with non-cultivated meadows and pastures was still in the mid-1900s free from higher and denser vegetation by grazing and cutting of hay. The tremendously beautiful landscapes also have a high ecological value with a very large number of rare species. The traditional agriculture is disappearing, and grazing animals that previously ran on the pastures and grazed, have severely reduced in number. So there has been an urgent need over the last decades to develop a new model for the management of the old pastures in the archipelago. Metsähallitus that is responsible of the areas of the National Park has for several decades been taken care of the traditional agriculture landscape of the national park, in the core area of the Biosphere Reserve. Also several private land-owners have made management plans for their land areas and agreements have been made with farmers to get animals out to the islands.

Pic from Berghamn - Hotskär. Many pastures and meadows are getting overgrown and now you need to select the most valuable areas, which are the ones most in need of care.

Many pastures and meadows are getting overgrown and now you need to select the most valuable areas, which are the ones most in need of care. Within the Biosphere Reserve, Metsähallitus, environmental authorities, associations, municipalities, landowners and farmers have participated in the management of both private and state-owned land.

Pic from Berghamn - Houtskär. Metsähallitus, environmental authorities, associations, municipalities, landowners and farmers have participated in the management of both private and state-owned land.

The EU financial aid for agri-environmental undertakings has been very handy in supporting farmers in developing the management of the traditional agricultural biotopes. The grazing as nature management is an added value for the animal products sold by the farmers directly from the farm.

Katja Bonnevier


Links to more info of the archipelago biosphere area:

>>> The Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve

>>> outdoors.fi - UNESCO´s Man and the Biosphere.

>>> Metsähallitus - Development of Sustainable Nature Tourism etc...

>>> In the Same Boat

 Destination Finland Seaside Kb. 

 

partner to:

Metsähallitus-Finland

Metsähallitus - State enterprise

 

 

 

.........and a member of:

Yrittäjät-Finland

The Federation of Finnish Enterprises

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